Letters to the Editor

No medical reason for abortion

Monday, February 11, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Having read the article 'No one answer to abortion question', and specifically the remarks of president of the Jamaica Baptist Union, Rev Merlyn Hyde-Riley, it seems the need for clarification regarding the role of abortion in medical emergencies is great.

She seems well-meaning, but may be misinformed. She said, “..inasmuch as we affirm life, we recognise that there are circumstances that are very difficult for women – for example, in a case where the mother's life is at risk.”

Since first-trimester pregnancies result in minimal physiological strain, this discussion is really about second- and third-trimester pregnancies.

A second trimester baby may be killed via dilation and curettage, ie scraped out, or via induction abortion. In an induction abortion the baby is chemically burnt alive using salt water, urea or potassium chloride injected into the amniotic sac. Are these procedures necessary to save a mother's life? No.

In the third trimester an induction abortion may be used as well, but since the baby is so large the procedure most likely to end the baby's life is dilatation and extraction. This is foetal dismemberment, where the abortionist must be careful to break off both arms, both legs, crush the skull and gather all internal organs in order to prevent serious infection later on.

Medical emergencies related to pregnancy can happen in the second trimester, but are more common in the third. The third trimester is when the baby is most certainly able to feel pain and having passed 24 weeks is actually viable outside of the womb. Clearly doctors do not dismember babies in the third trimester because of a mother's medical illness. If the pregnancy is deemed so high-risk that the mother's life is at risk the baby, at whatever gestational age, is delivered and given a fighting chance in the hands of the paediatricians and the special care nursery if necessary.

To break the myth wide open; there is no medical indication for an abortion. Abortions are not done to save women's lives! The babies are delivered and given a fighting chance for life.

Daniel Thomas, MD


Love March Movement


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